Mosquitoes flying around

How To Get Rid Of Flies In A Restaurant

January 28, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

As a restaurant manager or owner, hearing the telltale buzz of flies zooming around your business is a cause for worry. Not only are flies annoying to your staff and customers, but they can cause a negative perception of the cleanliness of your restaurant.

Even the most spotless kitchens and bars battle with the nuisance of flies, especially in warmer months. Below, we’ll go through some of the reasons different types of flies flock to restaurants and how to reduce the populations of these irritating pests.

fly sitting on bread rolls

What are flies attracted to in a restaurant?

Unfortunately for restaurants, they’re full of delicious things that attract all types of flies, among other pests. The good news is that there are ways to manage the number of flies in your business. 

Here are some of the main points that attract flies to restaurants:

  • Garbage: Garbage, even food scraps that have been sitting out for a few hours, bring flies in like a “Free Buffet” sign in a casino. Restaurants generate considerable food waste, and flies use this as a food source and breeding ground.
  • Fruit and meat: Sugar and protein are the main things that flies seek out, and different species of flies will gravitate to one or both. 
  • Sugary or vinegary liquids: Flies use sugary liquids for energy, making your kitchen, especially the bar area, prime targets.
  • Other flies or insects: Some flies are attracted to other flies and the specks they leave behind on your walls and ceilings. 
  • Sink and floor drains: Drains, particularly those in dishwashing areas and kitchen or bar floors, are common culprits for attracting flies. If your kitchen is spotless, but you still see flies, check your drains.

How do flies get inside restaurants? 

Fruit fly eggs can ride in on fruit deliveries, and one housefly can zip in through an open door and lay up to 150 eggs at a time. With daily food and liquor deliveries, not to mention doors opening and closing frequently, it’s no wonder restaurants are constantly battling flies. 

How to get rid of flies in restaurants 

Controlling fly populations in restaurants requires a multi-pronged strategy. Whether you’ve got fruit flies, house flies, drain flies, or flies around outdoor seating, there are ways to keep these pests at bay.  

Here are some easy ways to reduce the temptation for flies in and around your restaurant:

  • Ask your staff to keep food in designated break areas and to cover food properly when they’re not eating.
  • House flies tend to breed in unsanitary areas, like garbage bins. Take out the garbage before or after each shift of workers and sanitize the bottom of garbage cans frequently to prevent an accumulation of build-up.
  • Flies breed in outdoor garbage cans, but a clean and enclosed space for your garbage can help keep populations down. 
  • Wash all fruit and veggies in vinegar and water to deter fruit flies from your fresh produce. 
  • Flies and fruit flies feed off food spills, so thoroughly wipe up messes as soon as they happen. 

Many restaurants also hire professional pest control companies to conduct routine pest maintenance that helps manage flies and other pests before they become full-blown infestations. A local pest control company can recommend solutions like attractant lights and sanitation practices to help with existing fly populations. 

two flies sitting on food on a white plate

How to control drain flies in restaurants

The best way to handle your drain fly populations is to make sure that drains are flushed with water on a regular basis and that all buildup is cleaned regularly. Many restaurants and bars have neglected floor drains because they’re covered by equipment or shelving. Bars, in particular, are hotspots for sugary spills, meaning that the floor drains collect the type of liquid that drain flies love. 

How to get rid of flies in outdoor restaurants

Place your garbage far away from the patio area and have servers clear vacated tables quickly to help deter flies from outdoor seating. Outdoor environments are trickier to control than indoor areas, which makes patio fly prevention a bit of a challenge — but not impossible. 

Pest control solutions for restaurants 

When in doubt, reach out to the professionals for restaurant pest management. Hawx Pest Control technicians have the expertise and high-quality tools needed to address fly infestations in your business. We customize every plan to suit your needs, offer multiple routine pest control plans, and provide complementary warranty services should pests come back between visits. 

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